Repeat offender release baffles victims - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Posted by: Tony McNary 2/22/05 9:49pm

Repeat offender release baffles victims

It was just last year they thought their testimony would put a crook behind bars for good, but that wasn't the case now they want answers.

Chris Fluker's rap sheet dates back 10 years: theft of property, aggravated assault, you name it.

Bill and Ann Robinson says if things don't change, Fluker will strike again

When the Robinsons heard police arrested Chris Fluker again, they couldn't believe it.

Ann Robinson said, "I recognized his name immediately."

They're familiar with Fluker because he was convicted last year of stealing their Ford Explorer.

Police arrested Fluker again last week and charged him in connection with burglaries in the Robinson's neighborhood.

"It's just charge after charge after charge and they just keep letting them out. I mean they don't do anything to them," said Bill Robinson.

The Robinsons say they were persuaded to testify against Fluker after he stole their car--thinking, as a repeat offender, he would do serious time.

 "If this happened to us again, I wouldn't go through the trouble of helping them prosecute them cause they're not going to do anything to them," said Bill Robinson.

Major Bill Garrett and his detectives share the family's frustration.

"Major this guy here we just arrested a few weeks ago, a few months ago and Major I'm on first name basis with this guy here. They get very frustrated and feel like they're not accomplishing anything."

Garrett says all officers can do is keep arresting repeat offenders like Fluker and hope the courts will do the rest.

Criminal Court Judge Chris Craft says state law is harder on those who commit violent crimes versus those who commit property crimes like burglaries.

"We try to rehabilitate people but at some point we have to be concerned about the people that they'll hurt and where that line is is the problem judges have. We have to make that decision and we hope we make the right decision but sometimes we don't," said Judge Craft.

Judge Craft says prison overcrowding is the main reason many criminals who commit property crimes are put back on the streets and given probation and rehab stipulations.

He wishes there was a way to treat repeat offenders instead of building more jails to lock them up.

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